April 17, 2001

April 26, 2001

Life is good!
Well, it's been a little over a week since the last journal entry but since nothing much has happened, I figured I'd wait a couple extra days to write. hee hee. I'm currently sitting in a coffee shop in San Luis Obispo on a mean caffeine rush, haven't had coffee for a few days.

I'm not sure where to begin. Hummmmmm. First of all, I would like to thank everyone who came out for the sendoff last Saturday. Thankfully it didn't rain on our parade. CLICK TO ENLARGE After handing over the nearly $7,000 we've raised to Michele from Breast Friends, doing the press and picture thing, and getting some food in my stomach, I was ready to go. It was nice having some friends to ride with for a while. Who knows how long it will be til that happens again. After lunch in Redondo Beach, I was solo til Santa Monica. Only about fifteen miles, no big deal. I wouldn't doubt if those fifteen miles would be the worst of the trip. The winds were blowing ferociously and a sandstorm was in full effect. Three hours later, I ended up in Santa Monica with sand everywhere. Stuck to my face, in my ears, hair, everywhere. Thanks to Phil and Sarah, I had a nice little Bungalow to stay in and get cleaned up. Much needed for the first night. CLICK TO ENLARGE

I'm trying to write a bunch of stuff so I can fit in as many pictures as possible. It just doesn't look as good with a bunch of pics and no text.

The next day was much better. The winds were manageable and I had some breakfast to fuel the ride. I never thought getting out of Southern California would be so much work. Riding with Sunday traffic on PCH on a nice sunny day is very challenging. After 35 miles, I was at the Point Mugu campground. The picture on the right is the sunrise over the mountains onto the blessed picnic table. It's nice having a table to spread out everything and cook dinner on.

The next stop was Santa Barbara. The weather was purrfect. I was smiling all day. It's amazing that if you start riding before 11:00 you can ride 50 miles before the sun goes down. Santa Barbara has a great skate park if anyone is interested. CLICK TO ENLARGE Bigger than the one in Long Beach and its free. I was going to stay at the hostel but $18 was a little excessive for a bunk. Luckily I ran into Kirsten Nilsen who happened to be walking down the bike path while I was looking for a lost map. She was staying at her boyfriends Adam's house. After a great dinner of rice and veggies, I called and begged for a place to stay (OK, not really). Everyone at the house was really nice. There was even a guy, Justin, who had ridden cross-country. Thanks guys.

After some fix it work, I was off to Gaviota State Beach. The campground was actually closed because of flooding but the nice Camp Host, Chris, let me pitch my tent next to the river. CLICK TO ENLARGE The only stipulation was, I had to go sit on the beach for an hour and a half so it would look like I was a late arrival. NO PROBLEM! Had some time to even out my tan lines.

Started the next day at 8:30, early for me. I had two major climbs and I wanted to do 65 miles so I could stay in Pismo Beach. Actually, there wasn't anywhere else to stay within 20 miles so, it was kind of a necessity. After about 55 miles, I thought my right knee wasn't going to make it. It refused to climb any more hills. After a little peptalk, I promised it donuts the next morning if it would just hang on for another hour or so. It did, and I rewarded it with 6 mini chocolate hostess donuts the following morn. Hmmmm. Scrumpscious! Pismo was fogged over so I didn't spend too much time enjoying the surroundings. CLICK TO ENLARGE

Planned an easy day heading into San Luis Obispo. Needed some rest and reconfiguration time. Upon arrival, my back axle slipped out some how and bent my wheel. As fate would have it, I was one block away from a bike shop. Like I said earlier, Life is Good! After some fixin' I was off to see BOB. BOB Trailers that is. The company that makes the trailer I will be towing for 6,000 miles. After a great burger, thanks Damon, we made some adjustments and loaded up extra parts for the road. Which gets us too this caf´┐Ż. I think I'll crash at the hostel in town tonight then finish up some more stuff tomorrow then pedal a few mile north. CLICK TO ENLARGE

There will be some changes in the future. I can't carry the extra 8-10 pounds of the laptop so not all future journal entries will have pictures. I will mail the computer ahead a couple weeks and stop at libraries and schools to make updates in between. If I can figure out a way to download pictures on public computers, I'll send some. Everything is going great. Most of the days I ride down the road with a big smile on my face singing the same songs over and over again. Stay tuned for CD reviews in the near future. OK, I have to have bored everyone enough by now. I'm gonna go get some donuts and steak for dinner.

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You'll hear from me again soon,
Matt Allen
RideforCancer.com